A couple weeks back, we launched the Share My Air tool to make air pollution understandable in every community across the United States. Of course, we must recognize the authority in live air pollution mapping – the World Air Quality Index. So which is better for your purposes?
Share My Air tool
The Basics: Share My Air is a live map of air pollution monitors in the United States and some of Canada. It takes PM2.5 readings updated every hour, and converts them to an equivalent amount of secondhand smoke exposure.
Main Features: Clickable map of every official PM2.5 monitor in US and some of Canada, graphs of exposure in every area for last 24 hours, 1 month and 6 months. Can share any particular monitor instantly on Twitter/Facebook.
The Goal: Help people understand air pollution in their community, make it clear that it is in their best interest to take action.
Audience: US and Canadian citizens casually interested in air pollution and knowledgeable of the dangers of secondhand smoke
Potential Applications: Explaining the dangers of air pollution in every community, making air pollution more emotional for everybody, from normal citizens to scientists
World Air Quality Index
The Basics: World Air Quality Index includes over 8000 live-streaming monitors from around the world. It includes air quality measurements in particulate matter 2.5, particulate matter 10, ozone and nitrogen dioxide as well as weather metrics such as temperature, pressure, humidity, wind speed and wind direction.
Main Features: Clickable map of every live-streaming air quality monitor across the world, graphs of exposure for each pollutant measured by that particular monitor for past 48 hours. Can share via many social networks, and read up on the meaning of different AQI values easily.
The Goal: Put air pollution in communities across the world on one comparative measure (EPA’s AQI). Give a full explanation of what AQI means, and what negative health consequences can result from a poor AQI.
Audience: Anyone with an internet connection that would like to compare air pollution around them to air pollution in any community across the world.
Potential Applications: Helping individuals understand if their air pollution is better or worse than similar cities. Comparing air pollution regulations across different countries.
World Air Quality Index and Share My Air work well for different audiences. World Air Quality Index, with its comprehensive monitoring network and multiple pollutant measurements, satisfies those who have above average knowledge of atmospheric science and air pollution formation. Share My Air’s focus on one pollutant, a universally understandable metric and limited range means that it would work best for American and Canadian users who are casually interested in air pollution (or, perhaps that interest might increase after seeing the map!).
–The Vivergy Team